Publisher: Virgin Games
Machine: Spectrum 48K

Published in Computer & Video Games #38


Virgin are taking a whole new look at their range of games - and coming up with some interesting new titles for Christmas. One of these is Strangeloop - a Jet Set Willy-esque ramble through a maze of rooms filled with deadly hazards. And it's great fun!

Here's what you have to do. Your mission, little space-person, is to regain control of a robot factory situated on the edge of a far distant solar system.

The factory has been invaded by a powerful alien force with is reprogramming the robots as they come off the production line.


Instead of being nice, quiet metal-beings who only want to help the human race, the robots are being turned into fierce killers, out to destroy anything that looks vaguely humanoid.

No maps of the factory exist - not even in the latest copy of C&VG! So you have to warp into the unknown. The environment of the factory is extremely hostile - unless oyu are an indestructible robot, that is.

There's no oxygen, zero gravity, soaring temperatures and nasty sharp bits of industrial waste zapping around. There are 240 rooms between you and the control room - which you must reach if your mission is to be successful.


All you have between you and disaster is a very old space suit - government cuts you see, no new ones available - and a laser gun.

During your journey through the factory, you'll come across an old abandoned jet cycle that is great for whizzing around - but it does use up a lot of fuel. You have to keep topping up at the various fuel dumps you'll find dotted about the factory.

With all that sharp stuff flying about, your suit is bound to get punctured - you do have some patches to plug the leaks, but these soon run out and you'll need to pick up spare patches as you go around the factory. You can top up on oxygen too as bottles are to be found in various rooms.


As in an Adventure, there are various objects to collect and use along the way - essential in your quest to stop the aliens.

The screen layout shows the room you are currently in. At the bottom of the screen is a readout showing the status of your suit - how many leaks and patches, plus your laser status, and what you've got in your pockets, for instance things you've picked up along the way, plus a compass showing the way to the control room and a map of the rooms around you.

Game control is by keyboard only - but this doesn't detract from the playability. Graphics are cefrtainly not state of the art but pretty good for all that. The animation of the spaceman and his jet bike and the nasties is great and flicker-free.

I found Strangeloop amusing to play. It certainly has that all important lasting appeal and, with a game save facility, you don't have to sit up all night to beat it!